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Quickshot blasted for LoL esports return at Esports World Cup

quickshot league of legends

Trevor “Quickshot” Henry is making the surprising and controversial move to return to League of Legends esports for the 2024 Esports World Cup.

The LEC has undergone major changes across 2024, many of which stem from sweeping layoffs across Riot Games. Among the most notable names removed from the company was Quickshot, who worked the desk for Europe’s top LoL esports circuit from 2013 to 2023. 

Neither Riot Games, the LEC, nor Quickshot ever explained the reason for or nature of his departure. The split coincided with both job cuts across League of Legends esports and a video reemerging that showed Quickshot dancing with other casters and referring to a move with an outstretched arm as “the Hitler.”

Regardless of why he’s no longer with the LEC, he’ll be returning for one of the bigger League of Legends esports events of 2024. But the news of Quickshot’s return was met with an awkward mix of applause, speculation regarding an LEC return, and questions about why he’d return for the Esports World Cup, specifically.

Quickshot to host for Esports World Cup’s League of Legends tournament

Quickshot’s role in the Esports World Cup will see him work the desk as host across four days on the secondary stream. He announced the news on his X account:

Though news of Quickshot no longer working for the LEC wasn’t received well by fans, his welcome back wasn’t warm, either. This stems from the Esports World Cup’s ties to the Saudi Arabian government and its role in “sportswashing” the country’s notorious human rights record.

Saudi Arabia is routinely criticized by human rights groups for its treatment of migrants, women, religious minorities, and LGBTQ+ individuals. According to intergovernmental organizations, these efforts have been on the rise over recent years, alongside an increase in the country’s crackdown on anything resembling dissent. They’ve also spilled out across the country’s borders.

The most famous example of this is the assassination and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the CIA concluded was ordered by Saudi Arabian leader Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudi government has also reportedly turned to routinely punishing family members of those who criticize leadership from abroad. One recent example saw the country sentence the brother of an expatriate to death in 2023. The evidence that led to this verdict included retweeting posts critical of Saudi leadership on X to his 10 followers on the platform, per the Human Rights Watch.

According to human rights groups and journalists, Saudi Arabia has tried to positively affect its public image through aggressive acquisitions across all forms of entertainment. This includes aggressive moves in esports, including the creation of the Esports World Cup.

Quickshot critical of Saudi Arabia human rights record, but will now work for it

Quickshot was one of the most vocal critics of the LEC and Riot Games for a partnership with Neom.

Neom is an in-development autonomous zone in Saudi Arabia that is meant to be a tourist destination once completed. Construction was preceded by the forced relocation of ethnic minorities from the area, the demolition of their cities, and express orders to kill anyone who refused to leave, per the BBC.

Despite being lambasted by human rights groups, numerous sports organizations have accepted sponsorships from the Saudi government to advertise Neom.

In 2020, Neom entered into a partnership with the LEC. Numerous figures associated with the league criticized the news, with Quickshot being among the most vocal. Quickshot discussed the coordinated pushback internally while posting articles about human rights abuses associated with Neom’s construction. Despite being a major voice against Saudi Arabia’s influence in esports, Quickshot is now helping to grow that influence by lending his talent to the Esports World Cup.

Will Quickshot return to LEC after Esports World Cup?

It’s unknown whether Quickshot will return to the LEC

There’s no indication from Quickshot that his return to LoL esports will be anything other than a one-and-done affair. Meanwhile, the LEC hasn’t made any notable efforts to bring back talent that was laid off earlier in the year.

Given the lack of communication regarding Quickshot and the LEC, it seems unlikely that the veteran host and commentator would return to the European competition following the EWC, but it can’t be ruled out entirely.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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